Moving with Intention

2023 has been a year.

I suppose that every year is a year, and this year may actually have felt closer to many years, but I mean that it has been a very full year with much rapid movement despite a beginning steeped in stillness.

Coming into 2023, I had a feeling that it would be a year of growth and change. I felt a shift in energy as I entered the year that was preparing me for a “what’s next” which ended up being a large personal and professional move, a move that will officially begin tomorrow, on the first day of 2024.

I entered 2023 on a social media pause. It’s interesting to me that my natural winter state is one of retreat, of time to collect myself away from public access, of drawing close to those who are nearest and dearest to me. I also spent a big part of the first quarter of 2023 grieving, reflecting on mental health, wellness, and trying to find a balance between overwhelm and balance.

In April, as I entered the second quarter of year, I made the big announcement about my professional move to the University of Washington (Seattle), a position which will begin tomorrow. It was an incredibly busy month where I was doing way too much and not making a lot of space for my heart. In May, as the academic year wound down, I realized the need for space and made commitments to embracing my own humanity. They were beautiful commitments, many of which I have held to in the several months since even while I haven’t been present to them consciously. I am grateful to my May self for guiding the rest of this year.

The summer was a beautiful season of embracing presence in the midst of transition, receiving affirmation and acknowledgment in the world, and realizing a vision months and years in the making. It was a time of completion as I left my interim department chair role for my final semester as CSULB faculty, and a time of new possibilities, as we toured several campuses with my son in preparation for college application season.

As summer moved into fall semester, the reality of transitions began to set in slowly. It was a particularly challenging semester, for many reasons. Personally, there was a lot to hold in the courses I was teaching, and my son struggled for the first time in a course where my interventions couldn’t do much. ┬áIt was also a time of too much, where all that I was holding began to spill out from my arms. I had a health scare and an accident this fall, with the latter taking away a lot of my sense of independence. Things I had worked extremely hard on began to unravel. The world also felt like it was unraveling, painfully, before our eyes. It still feels like this, particularly in Palestine. At many moments, I also began to unravel, feeling unmoored, untethered, in a time where I desperately just needed to hold on to something.

It is the winter again. I find myself at the dawn of a new day, when still so much of the pain of the world continues without pause. I know I cannot hold it all, but I feel stronger in my resolve to hold onto myself when there is nothing else to hold on to. I know that if I am here, I can stand up, show up, and use my voice to advocate for a better world for those facing so much injustice, violence, and loss.

This year, I hope to move with more intentionality, more slowly and deliberately, with more kindness to myself that allows me to listen to, understand, and have the energy to move authentically in solidarity with others. I hope to forgive my imperfections and truly live them as places of growth; I hope to honor the calling of my heart and body and trust myself as I walk always towards greater good in the world around me. I hope to do less, but to do what is done whole-heartedly, and always, in love.

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